On the eve of our final game at the back end of the season when preparations should have been in full swing, the pitch prep possie turned out to only to find the Palace closed due to an embarrassing toilet incident. Yes, a fully functioning solid gold toilet had been stolen and thus a flood of juvenile toilet hilarity got underway. Frankly as we are Blenheim Park Cricket Club one might expect the members to rise above such puerile humour. But we are what we are …
So we batted first in our inaugural home fixture with guys from Stoner who had hosted us in the previous two years. We opened with the two Phil’s – that’s Pee. Boardman and Pee. Spearman. The first ball of the match hooped past Boardman’s edge down to Fine Leg for 4 byes. ‘U-bend it like Beckham’ exclaimed the in-form Phil before despatching a glorious cover drive for 4 more on his way to 29. Spearman, unusually cast as a No.2, didn’t fair quite so well and left no deposit in the runs column.
Parker (32), as one would expect, drove nicely and steadied the ship with Blenheim reaching 52 in the 15th over before further mishap. Elsewhere, whilst West again had issues hitting the ball-Cox loitered like a lingering smell, whereas the late arriving Keyes hit out and got out. Meanwhile, Weedon again top scored down the order with a much needed 34*.
Generally batting was tough going and ultimately we couldn’t squeeze out any more than 166-8 off our 40 overs.
So, into the field we went (so to speak), and although the lid was kept on the run rate the visitors also refused to get bogged down. At the half way stage they had progressed to almost half the score but ominously with only the one wicket down.
During the course of the innings, with all the police in the area it was remarkable how so much criminally loo’s bowling passed by almost unnoticed. However, thoughts that they’d somehow gotten away with were a little wide of the mark with only Walker (as always, bowling into the wind; 8-3-22-1), and Spearman’s P (8-1-29-3) & J (5-1-15-0 – having regularly found the edge) up to having their figures reproduced here.
As Stonor closed in on victory thoughts of our win counter incrementing went down the pan although at one stage at the fall of a rare wicket, all the talk was about the Timed Out rule as the incoming batsman appeared to take longer than the normally accepted couple of minutes after the previous gent had vacated the vicinity.
Our final highlight of the game was when West flushed out another wicket with Wee’dOn excellently judging a catch on the boundary off the skippers moon ball.
So as the lid went down on another season and we retired to the Woody Arms, we were left to reflect on the crime that preceded the game. As a club we should probably wash our hands of it but the police apparently have nothing to go on so who could have carried out such a big job?
Although a 66 year old man had been arrested conspiracy theories abounded. Blenheim’s own ‘WC’ mysteriously cried off and was otherwise Engaged the afternoon before the game with father Martin allegedly unaware of his whereabouts. Was JVF’s curiously quiet game a secret admission of guilt? And where was ‘property maintenance guru’ Stan (mid-60’s) Angol when it was all kicking off. Apparently abroad with a water-tight alibi – but has anyone actually heard from him? The clever money is on Stanley Angol in the closet with a sledgehammer. I’ll have a pony on that!